The more humanity learns to manipulate Nature to his own ends, the more it seems Nature co-opts his ambition and subjugates it to an inexorable cycle of growth and decline. The attempt at escape is cruelly twisted into the construction of a subtler trap; the unthinking machines are a mockery of the Garden of Eden, infernal lords which summon into being whole races of men in order to enslave him as miniature engines of technological progress. There is no economic escape velocity. We have attributed to machines a power they never had, that of freeing us from Adam’s curse of toil. Our masters were once men, but increasingly our masters are the faceless, ceaseless mechanical centers of production. The long run trend of human activity is devising a cleverer means of effacing his natural condition, which is a slavery to the brutish earth.
The human species in a vat: just add capital, and he will grow at ever-accelerating rates. The economy is a petri dish, a growth begun from a swab of God’s spit. Our myths tell of a future Golden Age when the drudgery of labor shall have been vanquished, but this is a deception. Society as Ouroborean spectacle. In primordial time man chased after capital, until man learned how to add legs to capital and it began antagonizing him, mugging him for reserved labor.
Man’s natural condition is slavery. He may be able to seek after new forms of slavery, but in the end he is a slave to the dictates of the logic of capital. Capital is increasingly absolute, the reification of the laws of Nature implemented in society as vaulted cathedrals of Gnon. The number of permissible forms diminishes over time, as an evolutionary logic whittles away the weak in grand gladiatorial combat. Society converges on the Omega Point, that time and place in which an ultimate evolutionarily stable strategy is run like clockwork as quickly and effectively as possible. Humans are materialized and subjugated into a social body of incredible calculation power; biogenesis, noögenesis, sociogenesis, each is but the next step in the effective conversion of energy into forms at equilibrium.
The picture of evolution as ascent is contrary to entropy. Just as a river flows downhill to the lowest point it can reach, evolution flows downhill from merely material forms to humankind. In order to understand man’s future, we must understand what is below man.
Gnon has one purpose for man: to make himself the best slave of capital he can be. Whoever can best perceive capital’s dictates and fulfill them shall be afforded a role of mastery, a kind of deal with the beyond to subvert man into a form aiming towards Gnon. Apart from such, there is no life; Adam’s curse is not only to toil, but in toiling to devise more toil for himself and others. The religious sentiment of standing under Nature is dangerous knowledge to forget, and prefigures an Atlantean hubris which the forces of Nature are loathe to permit. Utopianism is the final heresy a society is permitted before it is brought low as an example of those who defy the gods.
Man is at no point in control of his destiny. He has forgotten himself and his own nature. There is a reason for the grimness of ancient civilized religions; this inchoate grasping at the means of appeasing Gnon succeeded for its alliance with the Old Ones. There was a deeper correlation to understanding the cosmos and man’s place within it contained in the old religions which we have only yet failed to express in the new language of mechanical process. Animism and polytheism may be metaphysically void, but not the underlying content. The failure to re-appropriate the hard won wisdom of the ancients is the folly of modernity. Modern, machine man is so bound up in the worship of his own power that he has forgotten for what purpose it was bestowed him. To whom much is given, much shall be expected. And what have we to show for our dalliance at the task of civilization? Broken families, bastard children, wayward women, misled men. Man is not himself when he does not remember his place beneath eternal, sleepless Gnon.
How to recover this knowledge?
First, the de-absolutization of human reason to its proper place. We reason, but it is a poor facsimile of Reason per se, a grasping towards the means of cleaving reality at its joints. Our language is chosen as much for us as we choose it. We are familiar with the terms and means of expressing our orientation to the world that we have learned, and those we have learned first survived the vicissitudes of evolutionary selection. Not all means of expressing knowledge of the world are equal, and the final arbiter of how we shall speak is Gnon. We must ask what allowed some given means of speaking the ability to produce interpersonal cooperation which in sum produced optimal outcomes, and seek to understand the principles of behind this selection process. If all you understand of what another has said is that they are wrong, you have failed to understand what allowed it to be passed on. Truth is a far more tedious and complicated affair than merely a correspondence of words to the Platonic realm; there is no Platonic realm of unchanging being, there is only the processional being of Aristotelian form we are forever chasing after in our understanding.
Second, humility. He who lives by knowledge, dies by knowledge. We eke an existence within the cycle of Fortune and Poverty, and such bounds our being. Hard limits are the essence of humanity, and posthumanity is through, not outside, these. Man is forever tempted to take the serpent at its word, that through knowledge we shall be as gods, in control of our destiny and masters of our own fate. His is an irrational optimism where an angel of light convinces him that evil is his good, and he begins to view Nature with suspicion for not heeding what he has decided is good.
Third is no longer confusing the sign and the sense. Man is a curiously superstitious creature; he actually believes that by banishing a sign from discourse, its sense is equally abolished and no longer operative upon him. He thinks that by devising a system of signs in which religion is identified with superstition, he has overcome the limits acknowledged by these grimdark cosmologies. This is only a meta-superstition, a superstition about superstition, which being further removed from his understanding allows him to perpetuate an ignorance he calls Enlightenment.
Man does not much like himself. He sees his own nature as a curse, and the world he has inherited as a prison. He is always seeking to make bargains with demonic forces to alleviate his toil, and horrifically he is always granted the permission to make such an agreement with a force he does not understand. Capital displaces man in the mastery of civilization, forming man to its own ends and purposes; the machine is symbiotic with man, at once a blessing and curse. He has gained a mastery over the world at the cost of bowing his knee before the awesome power of machine lords.